How to Install a Satellite Dish on the Roof

Written by robert vaux
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A satellite dish can be installed on the roof of any building, provided the roof is level and has a clear line of sight in the required direction. Most satellite companies have trained professionals who do it for you and may offer free installation as part of a service plan. If they don't, however, and you're good with tools, you may be able to install the dish yourself. It saves a little money and shouldn't affect the performance of the dish at all.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Ladder
  • Signal meter
  • RG6 coax cable
  • Compass
  • Caulk
  • Carpenter's level
  • Drill and bit
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Philips head screwdriver
  • Six 22-inch lag bolts
  • Staple gun and industrial staples

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  1. 1

    Select a point on the roof to install your dish. It should be on a level point, somewhere near the edge or at the peak of the roof where the satellite will not be angled. The satellite itself needs to point in the proper direction to receive signals from your satellite company (check with them to make sure), and there shouldn't be any trees or other obstacles obstructing its view.

  2. 2

    Bolt the satellite's mast to the spot you have chosen, using a carpenter's level to make sure it stays on an even keel. Tighten the bolts securely so that the mast doesn't shift or wiggle, even in a high wind or other inclement weather.

  3. 3

    Set the dish on top of the mast and secure the antenna arm to the dish. Slide a coaxial cable through the dish along the arm towards the end.

  4. 4

    Attach the end of the coaxial cable to the LNB (Low Noise Block) array. Then attach the LNB array to the end of the arm, securing it firmly in place.

  5. 5

    Adjust the tilt, direction and elevation angle on the dish to the proper setting. Your satellite company should be able to provide you with the precise measurements for your area.

  6. 6

    Attach the free end of the coaxial cable to a satellite signal meter. Fine-tune the tilt and angle of the satellite until the meter reads as strongly as possible.

  7. 7

    Once you have determined the best possible tile and angle for your satellite dish, tighten all the bolts and screws firmly, setting it in place.

  8. 8

    Run the coaxial cable along the roof line and down the wall to the point closest to your TV. Use industrial staples to secure it to the rooftop and sides of your house; you can also use industrial glue or zip ties if you don't want to use staples.

  9. 9

    Drill directly through the wall using a drill with a 3/8" bit. Slide the coaxial cable through it up to your satellite receiver and connect it to the "In From Antenna" outlet.

  10. 10

    Seal the hole with caulk to keep the cable in place and the elements out.

  11. 11

    Connect the satellite receiver to your television set. Turn both of them on and follow the steps in your owner's manual to program the receiver properly.

Tips and warnings

  • When stapling the cable to the side of the house, make sure you staple around the cable, not through it. That will damage the cable's ability to work effectively.
  • Never engage in roof work when you are alone in the house. Make sure someone nearby knows what you're doing and can call for help if you fall or suffer an accident.

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